3 Things I Learned in January

Linking up with Emily Freeman for What We Learned.

January has been a full, glorious, freezing month. I loved getting back into a normal routine not interrupted by huge extended-family dinners and holiday parties every evening. My year's Powersheets are filled out, and goal planning is in full swing (more on that in the future), along with actual structure to my week instead of haphazardly reacting to whatever happens (thank you, inkWell Press planner, you gorgeous thing). 

And I have missed blogging. Yesterday I realized I feel like I'm catching up with a friend over email when I'm posting on here, and I miss that friend - which is you, dear reader, whether I know you in person or not.

Ok, enough of the sappy-happy chatter. Here are 3 things I learned in January. I find it super helpful and encouraging to look back on the month and see what new skills, ideas, or behaviors I discovered over the past few weeks. It also reminds me of where the month went!

1. I learned how to buy appliances at an outlet store.

Miracle of miracles - we replaced the 20-year-old stove, fridge, and dishwasher in our kitchen with new appliances from Sears Outlet. We spent two hours chasing Declan around the store and figuring out which appliance we liked. We thought we'd given it all a good look-over. But when the appliances were delivered a few days later, we realized: A) the dishwasher's back right wheel was dented as if it had been dropped; and B) the oven side panel had completely popped off and the door scraped against the bottom drawer when you opened it. 

Cue the "whomp, whomp" soundtrack of disappointment.

Our new and improved kitchen...about time!

Our new and improved kitchen...about time!

The next weekend, we shoved the oven in the back of our car (bless you, Honda CRV) and exchanged it for a (much better functioning) model. And we eventually decided the dishwasher dent didn't impair it at all and saved us around $300, so - yay us.

But we learned to inspect things much more closely anytime you're getting it from a scratch-and-dent store, because (surprise!) it might have something wrong with it.

2. I don't have to wake up early and have quiet times in the morning.

This is a major development. I had an epiphany a few weeks ago when I realized - I hate mornings. I feel good if I can sleep til 6:30-7am. And I actually enjoy my time studying the Bible and journaling much more in the evenings. I don't feel rushed, I'm more awake, and I can process whatever happened during the day.

GAME-CHANGER.

For some reason, I had a major guilt complex about the whole morning routine. You see it everywhere on Pinterest and blogs - "5 Things Moms MUST Do In the Mornings," "Why Morning People Rule the World," "How to Wake Up at 3am To Find Time for YOU." 

In the words of Amy Poehler - "Good for you; NOT for me."

So on mornings I don't have to be at work early, I don't set the alarm. I let my body wake up whenever it wants to (or Declan decides to - but I am blessed because he likes to sleep as late as I do, most mornings, meaning til 7 am). And when he goes to bed at 8pm, I sit on the couch and do my "Jesus-time."

I am embracing my natural rhythms instead of letting the routines of other people guilt-trip me into something I really don't like.

Maybe you are like my friend who gets up at 5am and runs and showers before her kids make a peep. Good for you! But if you're like me and you get up early because you feel guilty for sleeping in and it makes you a horrid mess and you never actually read your Bible anyway - give it up. Figure out what works for YOU and run with it. (Or sleep with it. Whatever.)

3. Don't do more than 3 murder mysteries at a time.

Photo of the cast from And Then There Were None

Photo of the cast from And Then There Were None

This may be a book lover's dilemma. But I found myself completely absorbed in 3 different murder mysteries this month at the same time: the British series Broadchurch on Netflix; And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie on audiobook (which I had started listening to after watching the chilling-obsessively-scary-and-smart BBC series based on the book); and The Likeness by Tana French. All psychologically suspenseful thrillers - and they completely overwhelmed me.

I love murder mysteries the way some people love 50 Shades. I will devour an author's entire collection in a matter of days if they push the right buttons for me. But the emotional duress and suspense three mysteries put me under was too much. So I temporarily put down the Tana French, finished off the others, and even said "No!" to starting the second season of Broadchurch because I really can't take any more heartache.

But if you're looking for some good mysteries, I highly recommend all three. And please, please, please, Netflix, give me the BBC production of And Then There Were None, because I feel absolutely compelled to watch it on constant repeat...

What did you learn this month?

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